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Jane Austen

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Austen, Jane

Rare books by Jane Austen, including first editions, copies in fine bindings, and handsome sets of her collected works.

Jane Austen is one of England’s most revered writers, known for her witty novels of manners. Four of her full-length novels were published during her lifetime in three-volume format, beginning with Sense and Sensibility in 1811, and her most successful work, Pride and Prejudice in 1813. NorthangerAbbey and Persuasion were published posthumously together in four volumes in 1818. Austen’s earlier novels had been financially successful, but sales of the final two tailed off.

Her books remained out of print for 12 years until publisher Richard Bentley purchased the rights and issued the first inexpensive, single-volume illustrated editions in his Standard Novels series. But Austen remained a relatively marginal author until the publication of her nephew’s Memoir of Jane Austen in 1869, which renewed interest in her books and led to increasingly serious literary analysis of her work. In the 1890s, collected editions, many of them illustrated, began to appear. Today her first editions, the Bentley editions, and the later collected editions are all highly sought-after by collectors.

Read our blog entry By A Lady: First Editions of the Novels of Jane Austen

Watch a video of Adam Douglas, our Senior Specialist in Early Literature, introducing a selection of Jane Austen’s first editions and explaining how the different Jane Austen bindings affect value..

Rare books by Jane Austen, including first editions, copies in fine bindings, and handsome sets of her collected works.

Jane Austen is one of England’s most revered writers, known for her witty novels of manners. Four of her full-length novels were published during her lifetime in three-volume format, beginning with Sense and Sensibility in 1811, and her most successful work, Pride and Prejudice in 1813. NorthangerAbbey and Persuasion were published posthumously together in four volumes in 1818. Austen’s earlier novels had been financially successful, but sales of the final two tailed off.

Her books remained out of print for 12 years until publisher Richard Bentley purchased the rights and issued the first inexpensive, single-volume illustrated editions in his Standard Novels series. But Austen remained a relatively marginal author until the publication of her nephew’s Memoir of Jane Austen in 1869, which renewed interest in her books and led to increasingly serious literary analysis of her work. In the 1890s, collected editions, many of them illustrated, began to appear. Today her first editions, the Bentley editions, and the later collected editions are all highly sought-after by collectors.

Read our blog entry By A Lady: First Editions of the Novels of Jane Austen

Watch a video of Adam Douglas, our Senior Specialist in Early Literature, introducing a selection of Jane Austen’s first editions and explaining how the different Jane Austen bindings affect value..

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  1. Pride and Prejudice: A Novel.
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    [AUSTEN, Jane.]

    Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. 1813

    £6,750

    Second edition. Pride and Prejudice was written between October 1796 and August 1797 when Jane Austen was not yet 21, the same age, in fact, as her fictional heroine Elizabeth Bennet. After an early rejection by the publisher Cadell, Austen’s novel was finally bought by … Read more

  2. Sense and Sensibility.
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    [AUSTEN, Jane.]

    Sense and Sensibility. 1813

    £12,500

    Second edition. An attractive copy in an uncommon contemporary binding. Sense and Sensibility was first published in late 1811, and the first edition was sold out by July 1813. This second edition, with the text significantly revised by Austen and the substitution of “By the … Read more

  3. Emma: a Novel.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Emma: a Novel. 1816

    £12,500

    First edition of perhaps the most perfectly constructed of Jane Austen’s novels. She had fallen out with Egerton over publication of Mansfield Park and transferred to Murray, who published the second edition of that book and the first edition of Emma on the same terms: … Read more

  4. Pride and Prejudice: a novel.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride and Prejudice: a novel. 1817

    £5,500

    Third edition, the only one of Austen’s novels to be published a third time in her lifetime (though whether it was actually published before or after her death on 18 July 1817 is unknown). Read more

  5. Sense and Sensibility.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Sense and Sensibility. 1833

    £1,500

    First Bentley edition, the third edition overall. Bentley issued these novels in his Standard Novels series in 1833. Read more

  6. Northanger Abbey; [&] Persuasion.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Northanger Abbey; [&] Persuasion. 1833

    £1,000

    First Bentley edition, the third edition overall. Bentley bought the copyrights of all Jane Austen’s works to include them in his Standard Novels series, apparently aiming at the private buyer, as circulating libraries still had copies of the originals. Bentley later reissued the volumes as … Read more

  7. Emma.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Emma. 1833

    £1,500

    First Bentley edition, the third edition overall. Bentley bought the copyrights of all Jane Austen’s works to include them in his Standard Novels series, apparently aiming at the private buyer, as circulating libraries still had copies of the originals. Bentley later reissued the volumes as … Read more

  8. Northanger Abbey; [&] Persuasion.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Northanger Abbey; [&] Persuasion. 1856

    £950

    Bentley included Austen’s novels in his 1833 series of Standard Novels, and was the first English publisher to issue them after 1818. The engraved title and frontispiece still bear the 1833 date, although the title page reflects the year of re-issue. Read more

  9. The Complete Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Complete Novels. 1866

    £2,500

    An attractively bound set of Austen’s novels. Richard Bentley first issued these books in his Standard Novels series in 1833, and the firm reissued them several times over the course of the century. Read more

  10. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1871–79

    £1,500

    A very handsomely bound set of the novels of Jane Austen. Richard Bentley first issued these books in his Standard Novels series in 1833, and the firm reissued them several times over the course of the century; this set consists of reprints of the ‘New … Read more

  11. Novels: Sense & Sensibility; Emma; Pride & Prejudice; Mansfield Park; Northanger Abbey; bound together with Persuasion; A Memoir by her Nephew J. E. Austen Leigh, to which is added Lady Susan and fragments of two other unfinished tales.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Novels: Sense & Sensibility; Emma; Pride & Prejudice; Mansfield Park; Northanger Abbey; bound together with Persuasion; A Memoir by her Nephew J. E. Austen Leigh, to which is added Lady Susan and fragments of two other unfinished tales. 1885-91

    £3,250

    A particularly attractive library set of the Bentley edition (originally published in 1833) of Austen’s collected novels. The final volume in the set of J. E. Austen Leigh’s A Memoir of his aunt Jane Austen, with added Austen’s “Lady Susan” and fragments of two other … Read more

  12. Pride & Prejudice.
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    (THOMSON, Hugh.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride & Prejudice. 1894

    £2,250

    First Hugh Thomson edition. Handsomely bound by Bayntun-Riviere. Read more

  13. Pride and Prejudice.
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    (THOMSON, Hugh.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride and Prejudice. 1894

    £6,000

    First Thomson edition, one of 250 large paper copies for Britain, with another 25 done for America. Thomson’s “light touch and feeling for period manners provide a charming and accessible gloss to the author’s work” (ODNB). Beautifully bound by the Chelsea Bindery. Read more

  14. Pride and Prejudice.
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    (THOMSON, Hugh.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride and Prejudice. 1894

    £2,750

    First Hugh Thomson edition. Thomson’s “light touch and feeling for period manners provide a charming and accessible gloss to the author’s work” (ODNB). Read more

  15. Pride & Prejudice.
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    (THOMSON, Hugh.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride & Prejudice. 1894

    £1,450

    First Thomson edition, first impression. A very handsome copy. Thomson’s “light touch and feeling for period manners provide a charming and accessible gloss to the author’s work” (ODNB). This copy bears, as charming Austen ephemera, a colour postcard of Austen’s House at Chawton, Hampshire, laid … Read more

  16. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1898

    £2,450

    The Winchester edition. Read more

  17. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1905

    £3,250

    The Winchester Edition, the most attractive of the unillustrated editions of Jane Austen’s works produced around this time. The Winchester Edition was first published by Grant Richards in 1898; this is the first John Grant issue. A particularly attractive set. Read more

  18. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1900

    £3,000

    A handsomely bound set. Read more

  19. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1900-1901

    £2,250

    A handsomely bound set, with illustrations by Hugh Thomson. Read more

  20. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1903-1907.

    £1,500

    A Handsomely bound set. Read more

  21. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1908–1909

    £3,000

    An attractively bound and beautifully illustrated set of the St Martin’s Illustrated Library edition. Read more

  22. Emma.
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    (BROCK, C. E.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Emma. 1909

    £1,250

    A lovely, fresh copy in the deluxe vellum binding, published as part of the “Series of English Idylls” by J. M. Dent & Co. Though sometimes qualified as “chocolate-box”, Brock’s illustrations showed a sharp eye for characterisation and the ironic humour of Jane Austen’s world. … Read more

  23. Emma.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Emma. 1912

    £300

    A handsomely bound copy, with Brock’s charming and fresh illustrations. Read more

  24. The Novels [and] The Letters.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels [and] The Letters. 1923–32

    £4,500

    Large-paper edition, limited to 1000 sets, of which 950 are for sale. A particularly handsome set of Austen’s novels. Read more

  25. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1923

    £3,750

    First Clarendon press edition. One of a limited edition of 1,000 sets on large paper with the letters in 2 volumes. Read more

  26. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1923

    £3,750

    First Clarendon Press edition, one of 1,000 sets printed on large paper. Read more

  27. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1923

    £8,500

    First Clarendon press edition. One of a limited edition of 1,000 sets on large paper with the letters in 2 volumes. Read more

  28. The Complete Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Complete Novels. 1928

    £1,375

    First one-volume edition. Read more

  29. [The Novels:]
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    (BROCK, C. E.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    [The Novels:] 1950-55

    £2,250

    An attractively bound set of the charmingly illustrated novels. C. E. Brock (1870-1938) first appeared as an illustrator of Jane Austen within Macmillan’s 1895-7 series (with introductions by Austin Dobson), Brock illustrating only Pride and Prejudice, and Hugh Thomson illustrating the other five titles. That … Read more

  30. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1948

    £1,500

    An attractively bound set of the Chawton edition. With two contemporary Christmas gift tags loosely inserted. Read more

  31. Emma.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Emma. 1991

    £175

    A handsome leather bound volume of this classic novel which was first published in 1816. Read more

  1. New Arrival
  2. New Arrival
  3. New Arrival

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